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Old 10-15-2019, 12:11 PM   #1
DannL
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Default Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

After troubleshooting a recent short in the headlight circuit, and finding other wires dangling or connected by a single strand . . . I decided I'd rewire the whole beast. That said . . for those who have taken this train already. . . what would you do differently if you had to do it again?

This is not a huge task by any means , but rework can be annoying sometimes. Will use modern 12 gauge wire (black) and install an 8 fuse block for the major circuits.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

Solder...solder everything, steer clear of crimping connections.
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:00 PM   #3
Tom Endy
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

I would remove the wire from the light bail to the stoplight switch. And run a new wire direct from either the fuse or the terminal on the firewall to the switch. There is no reason for power to the stop lights to run through the bail.

This way if ever out on the road and a short circuit develops in the bail you can remove the wire from the generator to the bail and continue on in daylight and still have stop lights.

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Old 10-15-2019, 01:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

Hi Gents,
Yep, soldering joints and the brake lite wiring are good ideas. I would add a cutoff switch and
also consider turn signal wiring, even if not in use yet, it might become compulsory some time in the future.
I am considering turn signals on both my vintage cars.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

I think I would just buy a wiring harness from one of the suppliers and be done with it. I have never had a problem with a stock wiring harness. They are correct the right color and go to the right places.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

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Originally Posted by DannL View Post
This is not a huge task by any means , but rework can be annoying sometimes. Will use modern 12 gauge wire (black) and install an 8 fuse block for the major circuits.
For sure one thing I would never do is use one wire color as you suggest to wire a car.

I am with 31 Tudor and just get the proper wiring harness. I have never used one of theirs but have heard Sacramento Vintage makes their own wiring harnesses and are highly thought of.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

In my case I've chosen black so that the new wiring will closely match the color of the old wiring . . . today. I've not yet found a modern harness replacement that follows the original color coding.

Last edited by DannL; 10-15-2019 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

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I think I would just buy a wiring harness from one of the suppliers and be done with it. I have never had a problem with a stock wiring harness. They are correct the right color and go to the right places.
Only way to go!!! If you have problems on road trips you can get help from those traveling with you because it matches the wiring diagrams!!!
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

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Originally Posted by burner31 View Post
Solder...solder everything, steer clear of crimping connections.

A pic of what spurred my interest in replacing the wires. Especially the headlight wiring. Years of being soaked with coolant and oils from the engine. The core wire strands inside are covered in an almost black patina. Once all of this is removed I'll cut into the harness at sections to see how far the oxidation goes. The connections here were all soldered (albeit poorly) at some point. They took your advice . . . even back then. ;-)
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:14 AM   #10
dave in australia
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

I do my own wiring harnesses. As I don't enter judging, I don't need the correct cloth covered wiring. I buy auto wiring, I add fuses, and because mine is a RHD, I use relays to reduce the current going through the light switch. The switch sits directly under the carb, so I want to reduce the chance of a fire if the carb has a small leak. I have a panel that is mounted on the LHS of the firewall, using the tank to firewall bolts. This way, there are no extra bolt holes, and it can be easily returned to stock by unbolting the panel. I also have LED indicators and a kill switch that sits just behind the gearstick at floor level. If something goes wrong, just reach down and kill the electricals.
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

I agree with the soldering/shrink tube, cutout, and stop light idea. And I like wiring things myself too. I would just stuff the wires in an 'old timey' woven loom. I also prefer to wire the ignition primary circuit more to modern/newer type of wire positions. I'd rather have the coil 'after' the switch.

Last edited by Patrick L.; 10-16-2019 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

The wiring on mine was in very poor shape, many times spliced together and paper (freezer)? tape used to wrap it. The tail/brake light wire was ran the wrong way (around, over) things and was not long enough. There were three sets of plugs and wire about a foot long added to the end of it as extensions with paper tape.


I do have a question,,,,,, my head light sockets I guess have been replaced and the wire,, not the plug would fit in and a screw tightened to hold it. The plugs on the new harness will not fit in these sockets. What would you fellows do,,,,, cut the plugs off and strip the wire and insert or do they make socket transitions that would do both????

Not doing a show car so that doesn't matter but I hate to destroy the end of it in case the next owner would like to restore.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

Quote:
Originally Posted by History View Post
The wiring on mine was in very poor shape, many times spliced together and paper (freezer)? tape used to wrap it. The tail/brake light wire was ran the wrong way (around, over) things and was not long enough. There were three sets of plugs and wire about a foot long added to the end of it as extensions with paper tape.


I do have a question,,,,,, my head light sockets I guess have been replaced and the wire,, not the plug would fit in and a screw tightened to hold it. The plugs on the new harness will not fit in these sockets. What would you fellows do,,,,, cut the plugs off and strip the wire and insert or do they make socket transitions that would do both????

Not doing a show car so that doesn't matter but I hate to destroy the end of it in case the next owner would like to restore.
Can you post a pic of the socket and plug?
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:52 AM   #14
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

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Can you post a pic of the socket and plug?
The plug on the light wire is just the standard plug that was original on the model A. Plug may not be the correct name but it's the same for the horn and tail lights. The sockets for my headlights is probably more modern. With it you would strip the wire and with the wire exposed, stick it on the socket hole and tighten a small screw on the side. Similar/exactly to wiring a trailer connector.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:14 AM   #15
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

Dont know if this will spawn ideas . . . a previous owner had new sockets adapted to the old wiring by soldering and heat shrink just before the socket. The new wires are just pushed through what may have been a socket. The little brass tubes are just that . . . tubes that the wires pass through.
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Last edited by DannL; 10-16-2019 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:30 AM   #16
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

First. Remove all electrical tape and butt splices (scotch lock and wire nuts included) and throw as far as you can.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:12 AM   #17
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

Quote:
Originally Posted by History View Post
The wiring on mine was in very poor shape, many times spliced together and paper (freezer)? tape used to wrap it. The tail/brake light wire was ran the wrong way (around, over) things and was not long enough. There were three sets of plugs and wire about a foot long added to the end of it as extensions with paper tape.


I do have a question,,,,,, my head light sockets I guess have been replaced and the wire,, not the plug would fit in and a screw tightened to hold it. The plugs on the new harness will not fit in these sockets. What would you fellows do,,,,, cut the plugs off and strip the wire and insert or do they make socket transitions that would do both????

Not doing a show car so that doesn't matter but I hate to destroy the end of it in case the next owner would like to restore.
You're off-topic with the OP. Start a new thread and add pics so we know what you're dealing with exactly.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:12 AM   #18
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

If you are determined to use the one colour wire for everything, do yourself a favour and buy an assortment of coloured heat shrink tubing. Cut short pieces and use it to colour code both ends of each wire. Simple.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:28 AM   #19
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannL View Post
After troubleshooting a recent short in the headlight circuit, and finding other wires dangling or connected by a single strand . . . I decided I'd rewire the whole beast. That said . . for those who have taken this train already. . . what would you do differently if you had to do it again?

This is not a huge task by any means , but rework can be annoying sometimes. Will use modern 12 gauge wire (black) and install an 8 fuse block for the major circuits.
12 AWG should be used between generator, ammeter and battery. 16 AWG is sufficient for everywhere else. Using the same color everywhere makes troubleshooting harder. Choose your poison.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:49 PM   #20
DannL
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Default Re: Rewiring . . . What would you do different?

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Originally Posted by Tom Endy View Post
I would remove the wire from the light bail to the stoplight switch. And run a new wire direct from either the fuse or the terminal on the firewall to the switch. There is no reason for power to the stop lights to run through the bail.

This way if ever out on the road and a short circuit develops in the bail you can remove the wire from the generator to the bail and continue on in daylight and still have stop lights.

Tom Endy

Good observation. Granted, they could have just as easily connected at the relay, or the junction/terminal box. Of course that would cost a few extra feet of wire. Multiplied by 4,858,644 (more or else), that comes to 1840 miles of wire.
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